The Boots is a regular feature of my e-mail Sports Report where I assign “Boot Ups” or “Boot Downs” to various things in the sports world. I started doing these features since my brothers always teased me as a little kid with the nickname “Boot” and I thought it was an appropriate way to stick it back to them with my sports writing. For possible topics for future posts, as always, look to the tips e-mail address over on the right sidebar.
Boot Up: The BCS For Now – As much as you might complain about the existence of the Bowl Championship Series, I am here to refute the notion that anything will change in the near future. For many years I have been researching the intricacies behind the BCS, and there are many reasons why there will be no playoff in college football for a few more years. I am not here to argue that the BCS is the absolute perfect system at all, as that is far from the truth, but I do think that we will have to work with the established system for the next several years
The BCS is signed up with the NCAA through the 2013-2014 bowl season and that means that four years from now we could have the very same problems at the top of the college football radar. Nothing much we can do there since all the games, contracts and schedules are already in place. Additionally, the bowl system makes a lot more money than any potential playoff. Imagine the difference in revenues for the NCAA and it’s conference affiliates when there are 25+ bowl games in contrast to only seven games in an 8-team playoff system. Any post-season format must keep some sort of a bowl atmosphere where smaller programs can cash in with a decent season.
Boot Down: Rose Bowl Match-up – The #8 Oregon Ducks are off this weekend, but they will take on their arch rival #16 Oregon State next week in the Civil War to decide the Pac-10 title. Ohio State secured the Big Ten title a few weeks back already and are now just waiting for the pins to fall in place and identify their opponent for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This will be the first appearance for the Bucks in Pasadena for a non-National Championship since defeating Arizona State in 1996. In these past 13 years, the Bucks have only played a grand total of nine games against an opponent from the Pac-10 conference. The Bucks are 6-3 in these nine games, but of course have lost their past two against Southern Cal. Here are the results from all of these games.:
9/20/97 vs. Arizona W 28-20 and 9/11/99 vs. UCLA W 42-20 and 9/9/00 @ Arizona W 27-17 and 9/22/01 @ UCLA L 6-13 and 9/14/02 vs. Washington St W 25-7 and 8/30/03 vs. Washington W 28-9 and 9/15/07 @ Washington W 33-14 and 9/13/08 @ Southern Cal L 3-35 and 9/12/09 vs. Southern Cal L 15-18
Boot Up: Brady and the O-Line – Multiple records were broken in last week’s 38-37 loss to the Detroit Lions. Not only did Brady Quinn manage to throw three touchdowns in the first quarter of the game, but he also threw for a career-high 304 yards. His three first quarter touchdown passes doubled his career total, now having played 10 contests in the NFL. The Browns were ahead 24-3 before the Lions could even respond and the several touchdowns were definitely a positive for all of the Cleveland fans. The game marked the first time in over a calendar year that a running back or a receiver scored a touchdown for the team, while Quinn’s numbers resembled many of those registered by Derek Anderson back in 2007.
Another important aspect of last Sunday’s defeat was the fact that Quinn only got sacked once. In his previous 15 quarters this season, he had been sacked 14 different times in an accurate depiction of our poor the offensive line play has been thus far this season. Looking at some of the stats on the intense Football Outsiders Web site, one can see the unsurprising reality of how bad our play in the trenches has been. Certainly Joe Thomas and Eric Steinbach have been above average, but the Browns are definitely lacking every where else. It was only the Lions last week, and with the schedule picking up in difficulty, who knows if this is an indication of things to come.
Boot Down: Cleveland’s 2009 Draft – Deserving of more than a little mention of WWW, take note of this article from the Akron Beacon Journal on Friday. Here is just a little highlight from the article by my close friend Stephanie Storm:
During last Sunday’s heartbreaking 38-37 loss to the Detroit Lions, wide receiver Brian Robiskie (36th overall pick) and linebacker David Veikune (57th) were inactive. It was the third time this season that Robiskie sat out and the first time for Veikune.
Yikes, not a very good sign for Mangini and everything that he did in this summer’s draft. It is clear now that General Manager George Kokinis had very little impact on the actual decisions made in the front office, and now it is intriguing to see where the blame deserves to go for the 2009 debacle. This team is lacking a lot of big names on both sides of the ball but it is never a good thing when two of the team’s top four selections of the current year are already finding their way to the inactive list. Sitting pretty at 1-9, who knows where the Browns will be drafting in 2010 but here is to hoping that somehow they find a way to get better production from their new players.
(The second picture of the Browns offensive line blocking for Jamal Lewis against the 49ers last season is via Chuck Crow/Cleveland Plain Dealer and was found here.)